The Man Who Paid $16 for a House: The Texas Squatter Story

Published September 1, 2011 by Candy Evans

Leslie Minora over at The Dallas Observer has done what I wanted to do — written a great, in-depth story about Ken Robinson, the Flower Mound Squatter who filed an affadavit, paid $16 and then proceeded to squat in a $350,000 Flower Mound McMansion. It’s the Dallas real estate, no wait, the Texas real estate, story of the, well, year. As Leslie points out, Ken is more popular now than Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater — both poster heros for “sticking it to the man”. Slater said “I’m sick and tired and not going to take this job crap anymore.” Robinson is living the American dream for $16 bucks. He found a house in the suburbs with a swimming pool for God’s sake and is living there, still living there. And yes, he has electricity and according to Minora, the place is spotless. Robinson has cleaned up the yard, the pool, the house, and appears to be doing a great service to that neighborhood — but the neighbors still think he should go. Any case, read this story. Robinson is apparently trying to give seminars teaching people how to adversly possess homes. He’s charging $10,000 for a two-day course. He is single, has been married twice and has six kids, even grandkids. I have always wanted to know how the hell he got the key to the house, to get in,  and the story offers the three answers he has given: he found the key in the grass while mowing the lawn, he got in the house through a broken window, he had the locks changed after showing a locksmith his affadavit.

Then Minora talked to a professor of real estate law who said what we said at the very beginning: Robinson has found himself the perfect storm: the owner of the home, a William P. Ferguson, cannot be found. Neither can his wife — there is evidence in the home that a woman lived there. The bank that held the mortgage, Accredited Home Lenders, filed for bankruptcy in May 2009. Bank of America is the current mortgage holder and when Minors contacted them, they actually got back to her and said they’d be foreclosing on the home in two months. Ha! Believe that, I’ve got some great house bargains for you in Nevada.

One thing to note: taxes will be due on this home come January, and they are $7573. I hope Robinson sells enough courses to cover them because if he doesn’t pay up, he’s out.

But you know what? I am rooting for Robinson. You go, man. I hope he gets to stay as long as he can over there on 2205 Waterford Drive in Flower Mound. No home should be empty and run-down, and he’s giving this place tender loving care and good ju ju AND a crystal clear swimming pool which he’s enjoyed all summer.

— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at CandysDirt.com